Eliza Part 2

As discussed in my recent post, Duplicate or Different, I followed up on a ‘notice of change’ message to discover two Eliza Van Valkenbergs on Family Search. By looking at the differences between the two women, I discovered some clues that led to more information in Eliza.

One of those clues was the differing death dates for Eliza. In one case, the death date was given as between 1920 and 1930. I’m sure this was due to not finding Eliza in records.

The other Eliza had a death date of 1943 listed. Knowing that Eliza had been married several times, I suspected that a different surname was contributing to the difficulty in finding records. When I searched Newspapers.com for the term Eliza in 1943 in St. Joseph, Missouri, I found a notice of her death.

Since Eliza died in Missouri, I then checked for a Missouri death certificate.

Both of these documents contain clues that connect Honora Eliza Schleininger to Eliza Huntchinson Phay. First is her maiden name: Van Valkenburg. The marriage record for Eliza and Albert Hutchinson gives Eliza’s name as Eliza Van Valkenberg.

Albert Hutchinson’s entry on the 1895 census in Doniphan County, Kansas includes an Eliza Hutchinson along with a Howard Nolan and a Peter Nolan. One of the affidavit’s by Eliza Phay in the pension application file for Elmer Hutchinson states that Eliza was married to Henry Nouland prior to her marriage to Albert Hutchinson.

Thus, when the obituary identifies Peter Nolan as the son of Eliza Schleininger, it provides another clue connecting Eliza Schleininger to the Eliza that married Albert Hutchinson.

The other clue obtained from FamilySearch was not only the year of death (1927) for Elmer Elsworth Hutchinson but also the comment in the change log that his cousins caused his death. Those two pieces of information led me to Newspapers.com. I wasn’t able to find anything in 1927 but I did find information regarding his death, including the funeral notice in the 30 Aug 1926 issue of the St. Joseph Gazette.

Based on the information found in these records, I concluded that these ‘duplicate’ people were actually the same individuals. Thus, I added sources and then merged the duplicates.

I’m thankful for the nudge to do further research and the hints found on FamilySearch. I hope that others who follow Eliza Van Valkenberg and Elmer Hutchinson will find this work useful.

Duplicate or Different

Do you ever check out someone else’s tree to see if they have something that disagrees with what you have? I know I’m usually looking for confirmation, but I appreciate seeing conflicting information. That conflicting information makes me re-look at what I have and to look harder for additional sources to support what I have.

That’s likely one of the reasons I work with the tree on FamilySearch. On this tree, I can look at the changes made to an individual. If those changes differ from information I have compiled, I can message the user making the changes and/or post a discussion about the change.

Thus, I utilize the ‘watch’ button to mark individuals I’m researching. Not only have I marked my ancestors to ‘watch’ but I’ve also marked other individuals in my research that I’m having trouble finding sources. Each week, I get notified of changes to those ‘watched’ individuals.

This morning’s notification list included Eliza Honor Van Valkenburg, the second wife of my ancestor, Albert J Hutchinson. That’s when I discovered that there are TWO of them in the Family Search tree.

Since I haven’t found birth or death information for her, I have no idea which  Honor Van Valkenburg is the correct one. However, I do believe that these are the same women and that they are the same person I have in my database as Eliza Honor Van Valkenberg.

Unfortunately, Eliza (or Honor Eliza) may have been married multiple times. Thus, it becomes difficult to locate information for her since her name changes constantly.

Eliza Phay applied for a pension for her minor son, Elmer E. Hutchinson, based on the service of Albert Hutchinson. This file contains information that helps in identifying some of these marriages. In an affidavit by Eliza Phay dated July, 17, 1913, Eliza Phay states she was married to Henry Nouland prior to her marriage to Albert Hutchinson.

Honor L Vanvolkenberg was married to Henry H Nolen on 25 March 1885 in Doniphan County, Kansas.

In 1893, Miss Eliza Valkenburgh married Albert Hutchinson. The marriage took place August 8, 1893 in Buchanan County, Missouri.

The 1895 Kansas census for Doniphan County shows the family of Albert Hutchinson. Listed in the household are Eliza Hutchison, Howard Noland and Peter Noland.

In 1898, Mrs. Honor E Hutchens married Samuel King in Buchanan County, Missouri.

On 7 August 1900, Mrs. Eliza Nolan was married to John McColgin.

On 23 May 1906, Mrs Eliza McColgin married Osceola Phay.

In 1910, Eliza Phay was listed in the household of Osceola Phay on the census for Buchanan County, Missouri. Also listed in the household was 13 year old Elmer Hutchinson along with Howard Nolan and Peter Nolan.

The family of Osceola Phay and Eliza, his wife is found on the 1920 census living in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. Also listed in the household was a son, —– Elmer. 

In the fall of 1923, Oceola Phay petitioned for divorce from his wife,  Eliza. According to the 6 Oct 1923 issue of the St. Joseph Gazette (St. Joseph, Missouri), the divorce was granted by Judge Utz.

The divorce of Oceola and Eliza would explain why records for Eliza are difficult to find after 1923. Since no one has shared a source for her death, it is difficult to determine when she died and thus difficult to determine which Eliza Van Valkenberg is the correct one.